Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm on a Boat!

Okay, so I'm a little late with this post. Just got back from an awesome weekend boating with fam and friends over at Lake Mohave. We had a blast, not too crowded and, thankfully, no boat "mishaps!" Well, except for the docking story.

Our oldest daughter just turned 20 (USC trojan!) and she has previous boating experience. Her dad, my ever-so-impatient hubby, entrusted her to dock the boat onto the trailer of the Tahoe. Well, let me tell you, that is no easy task considering all the rookies on the lake, and after this episode, our lovely daughter has definitely earned her captain's rank! Things are a tad bit different now, considering her dear old dad decides to park the trailer right next to a real beauty of a boat, not to mention costly boat. Really costly. Like $50,000-plus costly. Dear old dad parks so close to the other loading boat, that poor daughter can BARELY squeeze past said hunk-a-change boat and creepy old lady with fishing boat (who by the way, may or may not understand English. Hello? Can you scoot it over, lady??). Talk about stressed out! Here are all seven of us passengers gently coaxing her, "You got it...easy ...easy, piece of cake ... " while all eyes are on her. Will she hit it? I call out to one friend, "just be ready to push us off of that REALLY nice boat, in case we get too close!" This only seems to get her more nervous (really? Ooops, sorry!), "Am I gonna hit it? Am I gonna hit it?" While another friend/passenger is leaning WAY over the side to try and guide us along the dock, I mean WAY OVER, so much so that hubby screams at the top of his lungs, "GET THE F- Back in the BOAT!!" I mean, she was practically a bridge from our bow to the dock, what the heck was she doing??? Said friend is frightened back into her seat and sits quietly for remainder of docking.

Then there is the owner of hunk-a-change boat, standing there watching . . . waiting. . . waiting, for what? To jump my husband the second our daughter hits his boat? I heard there was a "ruckus" the day before at the dock, not again, please!!! Aren't people supposed to be all chummy and friendly on the water? Not this time, no way! You could hear the fluttering of a dragonfly's wings at this point in time. Oh jeez, please do not start a fight with my husband! If only I could jump over to the dock and tell him to calm the frickin' heck down! Ay-yi-yi . . . what a nightmare! When she finally does get it loaded --without hitting anything!-- dear old dad doesn't even acknowledge her effort. Obviously, she was EXPECTED to succeed, or else. Just another one of his little life lessons he decides to spring on us. If you can dock a boat with little to zero maneuvering room you are so ready for all of life's challenges! I could have killed him, especially when I glanced to my left and saw that ENTIRE side empty of docking boats! He couldn't have parked over there? Where there was no one? Not one single boat??? What the heck? And I get to live with this man, pray for me please!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

My kids at our favorite place.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I won my first giveaway!

Woo-hoo! I actually won a giveaway! A poster size print from! Read this post from Love2MyDogs to find out more! I snapped lots of pictures at our little league day at the 66ers minor league baseball game on Sunday. Can't wait to choose one for poster size and put on the door of our Snack Shack! Also, for some funny Snack Shack stories, head on over to AnItalianMama and read her posts about the little league snack bar! Get ready to roll over laughing, and yes, stuff like that really happens! Keep reading!

Manic Monday

Hey! Cleo Coyle THE author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries left a comment on my post about On What Grounds! WOW! I feel like I just made the cheerleading squad or something! I am instantly popular! Woo Hoo! Thanks, Cleo, I will be floating on cloud nine all day! :D

Newest Paperbacks for Tuesday release, 5/19/09

Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas: historical romance
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner: romantic suspense
Fatal Secrets: A Novel of Suspense by Allison Brennan: romantic suspense
Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon: romantic suspense
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond: novel
What Happened to Anna K. by Irina Reyn: novel
My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher: chick lit
Tap & Gown: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund: chick lit

Windless Summer by Heahter Sharfeddin: novel

Newest Hardcovers for Tuesday release, 5/19/09
Seducing an Angel by Mary Balogh: historical romance
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow: chick lit

50 Best Girlfriends Getaways in North America, 2nd edition by Marybeth Bond: travel. Ah, girfriend getaways. Reminds me of the time my girlfriends and I had our very first slumber party. Last year, right before my "surgery" (yeah, that one! I was only 38!) we planned a sleepover. The party planner was really sneaky about letting us in on the schedule. Turns out, she asked our families & loved ones to write Love Notes for us! We each received a bag of very special letters that made us cry, laugh and smile. One thing we did know about, was the letters for each other. The surprise was the Princess tiara. While each lady read their letter/love note to me, I got to wear the Princess tiara and boa! We all took turns being the Princess and it was fabulous! There was wine, mixed drinks, pizza, and popcorn. We listened to 80's and 70's disco. We laughed, opened up and learned some things about each other. Our own little girlfriend getaway took place in the comfort of our own home. I am excited to see the Girlfriend Vacation book, maybe we will decide on a "slumber party" away from home next time!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Snip It Saturday

The worst kind of welcome back gift? A murder. That is exactly what Clare Cosi gets in this Berkley Mystery, On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle. Clare is returning to her career as manager of the Village Blend historic coffeehouse in New York's Greenwhich Village. Clare is now in her forties, and her daughter is grown and in culinary school. Coming back to her previous job is kind of nostalgic and exciting, until, DUN-DUN-DUN . . . her ex arrives. Yup, the old ex husband, who is charming, good-looking and oh, so Italian! Yummy, :). Of course, he's still a macho, self-involved kinda guy, which Clare can't stand, neither can she keep away from him! There is your romantic background, just a little, and it does not take over the storyline.

The real kicker is the "accident" that takes place the night before Clare's arrival. Of course, she refuses to believe it was an accident, she is determined to find the murderer. I love the flow of the story, the feel of the "typical" mystery setting, the clues given, the familiarity of the characters. The snip-it I give to you today, is an example of one of my favorite features of the book, the coffee talk! Or, talk about coffee: where to buy it, how to store it and the best way to brew it! The author throws in these nice bits throughout the story, but it is not forced, it is a natural extension of the main character. Her life is coffee! So here it is, a scene portraying how busy the Village Blend can be and the expertise of it's manager and coffee connoisseur, Clare:

A quality espresso should consist entirely of rich, reddish-brown crema as it flows easily out of the portafilter spout. Crema, or coffee foam, is the single most important thing to look for in a well-made espresso. It tells you the oils in ground coffee have been extracted and suspended in the liquid - the thing that makes espresso, espresso.
"Got that mocha?"
"Got it!"
Triple espresso.
"Skinny hazelnut cap with wings!"
Cappuccino with skim mild, hazelnut syrup, and extra foam.
"Caffe Caramella!"
Latte with caramel syrup, topped with sweetened whipped cream and a drizzle of warm caramel topping.
"Caffe Kiss-Kiss!"
Otherwise known on our menu as Rasberry-Mocha Bocci. One of my favorite dessert drinks. "Got it!"

And on it goes, the orders, the lightning speed of the well-trained barrista -- now sleuth! A nice treat are the recipes included in the back of the book. AND, if you really love A Village Blend there is even a virtual world to visit! I was just browsing over there and found some pretty tasty sounding recipes. Plus, there are giveaways! What blog-loving lady can ignore a good giveaway?? LOL! Buy the book, borrow the book, just read the book! Enjoy! :)

On What Ground by Cleo Coyle
c2003 by The Berkley Publishing Group

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beach Fashion Friday

Ah, Friday . . . time for a little fashion news. I'd like to tell you about a special fashion moment for me. When I get the chance to walk on my treadmill, I watch TiVo'd Martha Stewart shows. Well, one day Martha featured Lilly Pulitzer designs and I fell in love! The colors! The simplicity! The beachness! The cuteness of the clothes actually made me walk faster on my treadmill! I want that dress. I want those shoes. I want that bag! Adorable!

In between your blog reading and comment leaving today, check out the Lilly Pulitzer website and browse around. The dress pictured here is Lilly's Villa Dress, which retails for $148.00!! Sadly, I have nothing of Lilly, but I am contemplating some flip flops or some sunglasses. And if you REALLY love Lilly, you can search the web and find some Lilly-loving sites, they even have a fan page on Facebook! Of course there's a blog called A Colorful Life, too! :) Enjoy and keep reading! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

This was awesome blossom! The Spirit of Troy crashing Latino Business Student Association's gala dinner! (Okay, so they got paid, but it was still cool!) I seriously got goosebumps! Sorry the pic is so small, my lovely daughter has not sent me any of her's yet, I had to copy this off her FB page!

Terrace Books Tuesday

Los Angeles Times bestsellers for May 10, 2009
Fiction Paperback

1. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
2. The Shack by William P. Young
3. City of Thieves by David Benioff
4. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
6. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
7. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
8. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
9. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

An author not on this list, but worth a mention is Debbie Macomber. Her Shop on Blossom series is the best! It is categorized as women's fiction, and high on the beach reading list for me! Her newest release, Summer on Blossom Street, is out in hardcover and is number three on Amazon's bestselling romance list. As paperbacks are better beach bring alongs, I'd say to start with the first in the series, The Shop on Blossom Street. If you like to sew or knit you will enjoy this series. I enjoyed it because of the fact that the main character owns her own yarn shop. The setting is Seattle, Washington (of course, it is Macomber you know!). The romance is not "overpowering" as in the weak little lady cannot do anything without the knight in shining armor kinda stuff. No, this lady is independent, shoot, she beat brain cancer! Ooops, I mean, uh, spoiler alert? JK! She tells you she is a cancer survivor in the first few pages! Let me know what you think of Debbie Macomber! Terrace Books has plenty of her titles in stock. Here is a list of all books in the series:

The Shop on Blossom Street
A Good Yarn
Susannah's Garden (related characters)
Back on Blossom Street
Twenty Wishes
Summer on Blossom Street

Monday, May 11, 2009

Manic Monday

Here you go, the Tuesday releases in romance, paranormal, suspense, novels, and anything I would call chick lit. Enjoy!

Chick Lit:
Beverly Hills Adjacent by Jennifer Steinhauer and Jessica Hendra--hardcover
Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenfelder--paperback
Jennifer Johnson Is Sick of Being Single by Heather Mcelhatton--paperback release
The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips--hardcover
Whispered Lies by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love--romantic suspense--hardcover
How to Sell: A Novel by Clancy Martin--hardcover
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams--hardcover
The Last Child by John Hart--hardcover
Assegai by Wilbur Smith--hardcover
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard--hardcover
Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child--hardcover
Wicked Prey by John Sandford--hardcover
Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History by Danzy Senna--hardcover
Larry’s Kidney by Daniel Asa Rose--hardcover
Boy Alone: A Brother's Memoir by Karl Taro Greenfield--hardcover
Once in a Lifetime Trips by Chris Santella--hardcover

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Top Selling Tuesday . . . on Thursday

As promised, here is the list of Christina Dodd's books:
Historical Novels -- non-series

Medieval Series

Knight Series

Well Pleasured Series

Princess Series

Governess Brides Series
(Pre-Governesses, but includes a
character of interest.)

Switching Places Series

The Lost Princesses Series

Romantic Suspense:Lost Texas Hearts Series

The Fortune Hunters Series

Paranormal:Darkness Chosen Series
The Chosen Series

This printable PDF document is a handy tool to have if you are a Dodd fan . . . although, if you are, you probably already know all that! BUT, if you'd like to try her books, the contemporary paranormal books are in high demand right now. She writes about Varinskis -- which are beings that can change their form. Mostly, it's humans changing into wild animals. And, like I said in the Tuesday post, ONE customer wiped out our (almost) entire collection! BTW, she does have one book that is out-of-print, Lady in Black.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

M24: topper helps mole with his book selection

"There it is, on the right!"
"Ah! The Dog Whisperer, time to find a nice hole for this puppy!"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top Selling Tuesday

Last week, one customer almost wiped out the books by Christina Dodd! The author has had at least 17 romance books on the bestseller list. She is the winner of the Golden Heart and RITA awards, MAJOR for the Romance industry I tell ya! She has numerous series books, and well, too many for me to write about today.

Not that I'm not into Christina Dodd, but . . . well, since a blog should be kinda personal, I'll just let put it out there. In the past week, our family has had to deal with two very tragic deaths. Last Saturday, my husband's 28 year-old cousin was killed in a car accident. Then on Sunday, my son's football teammate was killed in a riding accident. He was 10. So, we've been through one memorial on Saturday, a wake/rosary last night, and today is the funeral. My heart is aching with pain for the families -- each boy was an only son. I'm sorry, but I just cannot keep my mind on anything other than these families . . . so I'm thinking of putting the rest of this off until tomorrow. Please come back and I'll have her books with appropriate series titles listed. Thanks for understanding.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Manic Monday

Now I know why I title this Manic Monday! I "forgot" how much time and research it takes to look for Tuesday releases in the publishing world. Do you KNOW how many books -- not just new, but reprints, paperbacks, library bindings, large print, etc. -- are put out every Tuesday??? Well, dummy me should have prepared a week ago, but I didn't! So here is a rundown of SOME of Tuesday's releases for May 5, 2009. I chose books that either fit the chick lit genre, or books that I know all would be interested in, such as bestselling authors or popular series.

Books I would read because of their chick lit appeal:
Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, Or, The Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase by Jen Lancaster (The title alone qualifies as chick lit! I kid you not, this is the title!!) This book is a memoir.

Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris, hardcover.
Also by Harris, a reprint of a 2002 hardcover, Last Scene Alive, Aurora Teagarden Mystery paperback.

BabyCakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked About Bakery by Erin McKenna, hardcover, cookbook. Again, if the title fits . . . .

Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery -- paperback
Flowers on Main by Sherryl Woods -- paperback
The Guernsy Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows -- paperback (reminds me of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger -- paperback (woo-hoo!)

Authors of note:
Hardcovers: Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
Brimstone by Robert B. Parker
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Book 5) by Rick Riordan

Paperbacks: Mahogany by Stuart Woods
Resolution by Robert B. Parker
Phantom Prey (Lucas Davenport) by John Sanford

DISCLAIMER: This in no way, shape, or form is the entire list of Tuesday Releases for May 5, 2009!!! I'm looking for popular interest books or specialty books only. I would LOVE to include all new authors or fellow bloggers who are having a book released, feel free to comment --- shout-out --- your book here! Keep Reading!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Snip-it Saturday 5/2/09

I am reading The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger. I cannot believe I've never read it before! It is an exciting tale about a poor, enslaved assistant to a wretchedly mean fashion editor. The setting is New York City, of course! Andrea Sachs is the lowly assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor to Runway magazine. Andrea is a writer who longs to work for the New Yorker (I can identify with that!). She lands a job that "a million girls would die for" working for Miranda because rumor-has-it that surviving one year with Miranda will land you ANY job. So, Andrea accepts her one year of torture. I chose the following snip-it because in this scene, after several months of trying to keep her identity and not give in to the fashion hype all around her, she accepts her first bags of Closet discards. Jeffy has brought the bags over and Andrea feels the love!

The second, even more bulging bag spilled forth a stunning array of shoes, bags, and a couple of coats. There were two pairs of high-heeled Jimmy Choo boots -- one ankle- and one knee-length -- two pairs of open-toe Manolo stiletto sandals, a pair of classic black Prada pumps, and one pair of Tod loafers, which Jeffy immediately reminded me to never wear to the office. I slung a slouchy red suede bag over my shoulder and immediately saw the two intersecting "C"s carved in the front, but that wasn't nearly as beautiful as the deep chocolate leather from the Celine tote that I threw on my other arm. A long military-style trench with the signature oversize Marc Jacobs buttons topped it all off.
"You're joking," I said softly, fondling a pair of Dior sunglasses he'd apparently thrown in as an afterthought. "You've got to be kidding."

Thus, begins her love affair with fashion! I am particularly drawn to the book, because Andrea is a normal girl. She worked hard in college and now is thrown into this materialistic, fashionista world, surrounded by models and "fake" people. But, Andrea holds out as long as she can, not giving in to the hype. Okay, so we all saw the movie, but really, the book is an entity all it's own. Andrea's character is so much more down-to-earth and likable in the book. Miranda Priestly does not overpower the scenes, it's all about Andrea trying to please her, to do her job. Yes, she hates her, but the light at the end of the tunnel is the New Yorker. So, as I read on, I can't help but feel a dreaded outcome . . . will she last the year? Will Miranda actually make the call for her to the New Yorker?? I must continue reading!

Speaking of bags of goodies, my friend Saundra is hosting her very first giveaway! Love Pampered Chef? Well, head on over to her blog and enter! You MUST read about the bag of loot she is offering, amazing! I feel an Andrea-moment coming on . . .
An Italian Mamma Gone Crazy or click on her button to the right!

Friday, May 1, 2009

And now for a little beach fashion news:

Hurley and Bar Refaeli (THE swimsuit cover model/designer for this year's SI Swimsuit Edition) teamed up to design The Little Black Bikini which debuts today at I don't know about you, but I promised a LONG time ago, that I would NEVER wear a bikini! If you are one of the, oh, let's say, 200 SoCal ladies who CAN pull this off I say "Go for it!" (as I secretly hate you . . . JK, I don't hate you, I just "hate" you) The Little Black Bikini is a limited edition piece retailing for $120.00. And by June 2, it will be available at select Victoria Secrets stores.

Which brings me to this: PANIC!
TMI alert --- in the past three years, I have gained about, oh lets say, 20 pounds!!?? Give or take a few, okay, give a few more . . . my point is, how in the heck am I gonna be in beach mode with this gut? Salad-city, here I come! I am totally living at under the Healthy Cooking button, what else can I do? I will stock up on V8 juice and swear off Corona's (for a while). I will speed walk my treadmill EVERY DAY! I will cut out and paste the cutesy, Little Black Bikini right on the fridge door -- THIS is what all those little blonde girls will be wearing at the beach, lady! I can at least lose 10 pounds so as to not embarrass my kids! It's me or the moo-moo, which I'm sure is very flattering, for some people, but not for me. I will channel my Gidget-self, spend hours on the treadmill watching reruns of the adorable Sally Fields -- who still has an awesome girly figure, BTW -- and then sip my V8 as I read. And I musn't forget my Hungry Girl cookbooks! I will LIVE in the salad section, I'm telling you! BTW, Keep Reading!